In September 2017, Total Recall was moved from Sandra Hughes’ yard, following her retirement, to Willie Mullins and it would seem that Mullins knows he has a potential Grand National winner on his hands!
Owned by Slaneyville Syndicate, Total Recall is the 9 year old who bagged the Ladbrokes Trophy Chase at Newbury on December 2nd, taking home the whopping £142K first place purse, in what was only his second run under his new trainer.
Ridden by Paul Townend, Total Recall rallied very hard to just pip Whisper to the post sending the Ladbrokes Trophy, formerly known as the Hennessy Gold Cup, to Ireland for the first time since 1980.
Mullins now appears to be keen on a tilt at the Grand National 2018 on April 14, for which Total Recall is a general 25-1 shot.
Mullins told At The Races: “I think I’m going to wait and see. I’m looking at the Grand National and if we’re going to go down that route, do we want to run him again until the weights come out?
“Initially I thought about going for the Thyestes Chase, but possibly he’s gone too high in the handicap to win that.
“Possibly he could go for the Bobbyjo Chase, (Fairyhouse, February 24) and then the Grand National. Maybe if he ran in the Bobbyjo, he could go to Cheltenham and run in the Gold Cup and then go for the Grand National.”
With the official deadline for Grand National 2018 entries fast approaching at the end of the month, the break will give Total Recall plenty of time to rest following the win at Newbury.
Another trainer contemplating his Grand National options is Ian Williams, trainer of Gas Line Boy. Fifth in the 2017 Grand National, he has had two Aintree runs since, falling in his first race but bouncing back well to finish third in the Grand Sefton in December.
He then followed that up with a third place finish in a thrilling veterans’ race at Sandown and a return to Merseyside in the spring for either the National – in which he finished fifth last year – or the Topham Chase is top of his agenda.
Williams said: “He ran a great race and I don’t think Sandown plays to his strengths.
“He will certainly not go to Cheltenham in March. He will probably go to a veterans’ race and then, depending on the ground, he will either run in the Topham or the National.
“He handled the two-mile-five so well in the Grand Sefton and we would have to consider the Topham if the ground was slow. He continues to give his owners an enormous amount of fun.”